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Analysis

Radial OTR Tires for Better Performance

Wed, 10/21/2015 - 10:53

According to Yokohama Tire Corporation, the off-the-road (OTR) tire market continues to struggle with supply issues. Two years ago, tire manufacturers could barely keep up with demand, and last year the supply was much stronger than the demand. However, Yokohama’s Tim Easter, director of OTR sales, mentions that from an infrastructure and industrial standpoint there is plenty work to do, which is why Yokohama recently released two new radial OTR tires, the RL45 and RL51. Unlike a bias tire, a radial tire allows the sidewall and the tread to function as two independent features. This tire features transverse radial plies that run perpendicular to the direction of travel, which protects the interior and assures high grip to the road, as well as provides longer life, better maneuverability, and higher durability. Furthermore, the radial tire allows the machine to transfer more power to the ground, consumes less fuel, has less ground compaction and damage, increases productivity, and reduces the rate of tire replacement.

Yokohama’s radial product releases come as part of the company’s strategy to expand its radial product lines and be more aggressive in expanding its market share. “Yokohama has built a reputation as the technology leader for the best bias products on the market. We want our customers to expect the same with our radial tires,” says Easter. The new RL45 and RL51 spotlight are the latest technology in OTR radial tire tread design. Yokohama’s innovative culture led it to build two RL45 products for both L-4 and E-4 applications, while also creating the RL51 which does not sway, unlike many other radial tires. The RL45 E-4 is made for articulated dump trucks and scrapers and the L-4 version is for front-end loaders. Many manufacturers combine the L-4 and E-4 into a single application, but Yokohama built a tire for each, so there is no compromise for either. These are available in size 26.5R25, providing radial tires with enhanced toughness for extremely demanding applications. The RL45’s advanced tread composition provides improved wear, low-heat generation, and cut-resistance while the zigzagshaped groove provides better traction on rock and gravel surfaces. Other features of the RL45 include its nondirectional block pattern which provides abrasion- and cut-resistance on stone and gravel surfaces. The RL45’s high turn-up carcass construction protects it against exterior damage with greater lateral stiffness for better riding comfort and additional defense against sidewall cuts. Its oversized angled lugs allow for less void area than the competition, promoting long, even wear and improved traction for the life of the tire.

The RL51 L-5 product, on the other hand, is designed for front-end loaders and graders. It is a resilient radial tire for high-cut uses which comes in size 23.5R25. It offers excellent traction and stability and will not sway under load, thanks to the advanced belt package. The RL51 L-5 is a high-tech tread compound that provides better wear- and cut-resistance. Its non-directional block pattern offers traction, and the stability same performance in forward and reverse, as well as abrasion- and cut-resistance on rock and gravel surfaces.

Among the many benefits, the new treads are more durable and last longer. Both products have a high turn-up carcass and their buttress side protection provides protection against exterior damage; this means fewer sidewall snags and cuts with thicker rubber on the upper sidewall and shoulder. The products are designed to deliver improved durability because of the advanced, multi-layered crossply steel belt package. Also, the rubber bead filler provides strong twist stiffness for longer life.

The company’s complete product line includes tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications. Yokohama understands that the Mexican industrial market is growing, which is why it opened an office in Mexico in 2013. “Mexico as a market will be a growth area for us,” mentions Easter.